Home Authors Posts by Kathryn R. Bown

Kathryn R. Bown

Kathryn - Our health specialist likes to share with the readers the latest news from the field. Nobody understands better than her the relation between healthy mind and healthy body.


Fat reduction is something we’ve had to deal with at some point in our lives. Whether it’s through natural means, such as exercising or properly dieting, or cosmetic fat reduction treatments, we’ve all been there at some point. Excess fat can cause a lot of problems, both physically and mentally, so it’s natural for everyone to have to deal with it at some point.

All kinds of fat reduction treatments exist, but one of the most unique ones is Coolsculpting, which, as the name implies, utilizes the power of the cold to tone or “sculpt” specific areas of the body to the absolute satisfaction of the client. Coolsculpting NYC and Coolsculpting LA are two of the major cities’ new favorite treatment plans and are a perfect procedure for a hot summer when we simply want to do everything to get away from the heat.

With Coolsculpting becoming so popular in modern clinics, it’s important to know the most crucial aspects of the procedure and understand what happens and why.

Before the Treatment

Not much preparation is needed for Coolsculpting. Unlike other fat reduction procedures, this form of treatment has many fewer factors to consider. For example, more traditional forms of fat reduction, such as chemical-based compounds, need many more factors to be taken into account to determine the safety and effectiveness of the procedure.

With Coolsculpting, there are only a few factors that need to be taken into consideration: the area you’re treating and the sensitivity of your skin. Different parts of the body build up fat in their special ways, not to mention the fact that everyone’s body is built differently. So treating specific areas requires the kind of precision that only well trained and qualified specialists can handle. The sensitivity of the skin is also something very important for the procedure, as there are types of skin that simply don’t have the ability to handle the cold as long as others.

But both of these will very rarely keep someone from getting treated since Coolsculpting is a very casual procedure. The cold temperatures that you’ll be experiencing are around 4 degrees Celsius (39 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit), which is around the same temperature as a typical fridge. And we’ve all spent enough time staring at food deciding what to eat to know that it’s not particularly cold. But cold is still cold, so you can expect that uneasy sensation of the skin going numb as your body is being administered a constant stream of cool air.

If you’re not a fan of this sensation, then I’m sure you’ve been through enough cold winters to know that after some time, the skin goes numb and you don’t feel the cold anymore. The skin just feels stiff, which is great, since it makes the procedure that much more pleasant as you don’t have to worry about any uncomfortable sensations from the cold air.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Time Is Very Important

Coolsculpting is one of those treatments that rewards patience and dedication. While the procedure itself lasts around 40 minutes, the full results don’t become fully visible for some time. This can put a lot of people off, but for many people, this is a much better option.

When it comes to natural means of losing fat, much like dieting or exercising, it takes time for Coolsculpting to take full effect, as it is a more natural fat reduction treatment than most others on the market. It takes time for your body to properly get rid of the extra fat, but your patience is rewarded with the fact that Coolsculpting doesn’t come with the harsh side effects and recovery time that other treatments tend to have.

There are also no threats of allergic reaction since no chemicals are involved in the treatment. Most people, with only a small margin of exception, will go through the procedure without any complications. So while you must understand the amount of time it takes for the treatment to take effect, you need to know that this is all in favor of safety and the convenience of not having to wait weeks for your body to fully recover after treatment.

But as with any other treatment, you need to keep in touch with your clinic specialists to make sure that everything is as it should be. And while Coolsculpting is a very safe treatment, clinics like MiracleFace MedSpa, for example, keep in contact with all their clients who’ve gone through their Coolsculpting NYC treatment package, to ensure that everything is going smoothly, without any unwanted results, even if they barely ever happen.

While there isn’t much to keep track of, it’s still important to keep in contact with your clinics and make sure that they are as much aware of what you’re feeling as you are.

The Recovery

If you’re wondering what you’ll need to do after the treatment, then there’s not much I can tell you, since, much like the procedure itself, the recovery time is very short and you barely have to do anything. All you need to do is avoid putting unnecessary strain and pressure on your skin for a couple of days after the procedure, especially the treated area.

While the cold that’s used during the Coolsculpting treatment doesn’t cause any damage to the skin and barely even weakens it, you should still give it ample time to restore its strength and get back to normal before going in for any other treatment, cosmetic or otherwise.

And within a couple of weeks, you should already start to see some difference in how toned certain parts of your body are. Within months, the effects will be more apparent than ever before and you’ll slowly see your body sculpting itself as the fat is evicted from your body, leaving behind the beautiful contours and angles you’ve been striving for.

Don’t hesitate to try Coolsculpting for yourself to see why so many people are fascinated with this amazing unique fat reduction treatment.


Dexamethasone, a cheap and widely available drug, can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus, UK experts say.

The low-dose steroid is part of the world’s biggest trial testing existing treatments to see to see if they also work for coronavirus.

The drug cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth.

Had the drug had been used to treat patients in the UK from the start of the pandemic, up to 5,000 lives could have been saved, researchers say.

Coronavirus: FDA Authorizes Ebola Drug Remdesivir for Treating Covid-19

Dexamethasone could be of huge benefit in poorer countries with high numbers of Covid-19 patients.

PM Boris Johnson said there was a genuine case to celebrate “a remarkable British scientific achievement”, adding: “We have taken steps to ensure we have enough supplies, even in the event of a second peak.”

About 19 out of 20 patients with coronavirus recover without being admitted to hospital.

Of those who are admitted, most also recover but some may need oxygen or mechanical ventilation.

These are the high-risk patients dexamethasone appears to help.

Dexamethasone is already used to reduce inflammation in a range of other conditions, including arthritis, asthma and skin some conditions.

It appears to help stop some of the damage that can happen when the body’s immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight off coronavirus.

This over-reaction, a cytokine storm, can be deadly.

In the trial, led by a team from Oxford University, about 2,000 hospital patients were given dexamethasone and compared with more than 4,000 who were not.

For patients on ventilators, the drug cut the risk of death from 40% to 28%.

For patients needing oxygen, dexamethasone cut the risk of death from 25% to 20%.

Dexamethasone does not appear to help people with milder symptoms of coronavirus who do not need help with their breathing.


Clear skin makes us look healthy, feel naturally beautiful, and more confident. Blemish-prone skin can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing issue to deal with. It also requires a lot of time and effort in order to prevent breakouts and to remove scars and spots that develop under the skin. Most of the things that we can do to cover up and hide these noticeable and sometimes painful blemishes can make the skin problem even worse, which causes a ripple effect. There are many factors that play a role in the condition of your skin, such as stress, diet, hormones, skin type, and more. Fortunately, if you follow the right skin care regime, keeping your pimples under control will become much easier, as it incorporates itself into your daily routine. Here are six things you need to know about caring for blemish-prone skin.

Image by Kjerstin Michaela Haraldsen from Pixabay

Cleanse Thoroughly

Dirt, oils, makeup, and anything that builds up on your fingers and makeup brushes will form the ideal breeding ground for bacteria on your face. If you cleanse your skin twice a day, in the morning and in the night, it will prevent your pores from getting clogged up, which is one of the easiest ways to keep your skin clear. A cream cleanser that doesn’t cause dryness or irritation would be an ideal choice.

Start Exfoliating

If you allow excess oil and dirt build-up on your skin, it will promote the growth of bacteria that can trigger acne. This is difficult to remove via cleansing alone. Exfoliating once a week will keep your skin clean, which can avert future breakouts. You should use a gentle, anti-inflammatory exfoliator to scrub during a breakout, as normal ones can irritate the skin and prevent proper healing.

Moisturize Daily

Hydrating your skin won’t have an immediate effect on existing breakouts, but it is an essential part of any skin care routine and is a highly effective method of prevention. When your skin is well-hydrated, it will be healthy and it will heal faster. You should moisturize your skin twice daily. For an extra burst of hydration, you should use squalane oil. For the best results, make sure it’s 100% pure.

Try Treatments

There are many factors that can trigger breakouts, such as diet, stress, and hormones. Sometimes, these factors are out of your control, which means you won’t realize they are causing an issue until it is too late. For moments like this, you should have an effective spot treatment on hand to target these breakouts. When applied directly to the area, it can reduce swelling and redness.

Apply Serums

Serums are packed full of a concentrated amount of fast-acting and hardworking ingredients. They do not work overnight, but they will do a good job when it comes to improving blemish-prone skin at a gradual rate. The serum’s ingredients will be designed to penetrate your skin at a cellular level. Some have the ability to encourage skin healing and reduce the appearance of scarring.

Use Masks

When double cleansing is not enough, you should take it up a notch by using a skin mask. In order to prevent and control breakouts, you should look for facial masks that contain decongesting properties, as this will help with lifting build-up from the deep within your pores, ensuring a detoxifying cleanse. Masks use fast-acting ingredients that are extremely quick and effective at caring for your skin.

Nothing is better than achieving clear, glowing skin, especially when you are prone to pimples and breakouts. Getting blemish-prone skin under control can take a lot of time and effort, but when you see results, it will all be worthwhile.


Smoking harms almost every part of the body, including the skin, eyes, circulatory system, respiratory system, and even the reproductive system. Smoking also causes an increased risk of many different diseases, including cancer and diabetes.

Each year in the United States, almost 500,000 people die from tobacco use-related illnesses. In fact, smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than car accidents, alcohol, guns, illegal drugs, and HIV combined.

Here are seven ways that smoking impacts your health. By switching to a tobacco alternative, you can get the nicotine you need without the tobacco.

1. Lung Damage

When a cigarette is inhaled, nicotine and dozens of other chemicals are introduced into the respiratory system. Smokers are at a 25 times higher risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers.

Aside from an increased risk of lung damage that may lead to lung cancer, smoking also increases the risk of chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). In all cases of COPD, 9 out of 10 are linked to smoking.

Smoking also damages the airways, which contributes to the infamous smoker’s cough.

2. Damage to Cardiovascular System

While there are many factors that increase the risk of heart disease, smoking is one of the top lifestyle habits that contribute to the disease. Those who smoke, as well as those who are exposed to secondhand smoke, are at an increased risk of heart disease and heart attacks.

Tobacco smoke also lowers good cholesterol (HDL) levels in the body, while increasing bad cholesterol (LDL). Tobacco smoke has also been linked to increased triglycerides and total cholesterol in the blood.

Nicotine causes blood vessels to tighten, which restricts blood flow throughout the body. This increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure.

3. Damaged Immune System

Smokers are more likely to have more respiratory tract infections when compared to people who don’t smoke. This is not only because smoking damages the lungs, but it also impacts the immune system’s ability to fight off infections.

This means that smokers will experience more severe and longer-lasting illnesses. Smoking has also been linked to lower levels of antioxidants in the blood, including vitamin C.

Smoking also increases inflammation throughout the body.

4. Vision Problems

While your vision may not be impacted immediately, smoking has shown to have negative effects on the eyes. Long-term smokers are likely to experience future vision problems, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

Smoking also increases the risk of damage to the optic nerve. This is the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. Excessive damage to the optic nerve can cause blindness.

In the short-term, smokers are likely to experience dry eyes, which makes the eyes red and scratchy.

5. Fertility & Reproductive System Issues

Smoking damages both the male and female reproductive systems. For men, smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction. Smoking also negatively impacts the quality of sperm, which reduces fertility.

For women, smoking can make it much more difficult to get pregnant. This is often attributed to tobacco and the many other chemicals that are found in cigarettes. These chemicals impact hormone levels, which then impact fertility. Women also experienced an increased risk of developing cervical cancer.

Smoking also has profound impacts on pregnant women as well as the developing fetus. Common complications include:

  • Increased risk of preterm delivery
  • Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • Reduced birth weight
  • Damage to the baby’s brain, lungs, and central nervous system
  • Increased risk of congenital abnormalities, such as cleft palate and cleft lip
  • Increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome

6. Impacted Digestive System

Smoking suppresses the appetite because it decreases your sense of taste. This makes eating a lot less enjoyable because you can’t taste the food that you’re putting into your mouth.

Smoking has been linked to many different cancers, including cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and larynx. There’s also an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

Smokers are also more likely to develop insulin resistance, because of how smoking impacts insulin. Insulin resistance increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, along with the many complications associated with the disease.

7. Damaged Hair, Skin, & Nails

Smoking impacts the hair, skin, and nails in many ways. Smokers are at an increased risk of hair loss, balding, and early graying. This is due to the high nicotine content found in cigarettes.

Smoking also visibly impacts the skin. Tobacco smoke changes the structure of the skin, which can lead to dry skin and premature aging. This is because nicotine reduces blood flow, which impacts the skin’s ability to get the nutrition it needs.

People who smoke are also at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

Routine handling of tobacco products stains the fingers and fingernails a yellow color. Aside from staining, smokers face a higher risk of fungal nail infections.


It’s an understatement to say that smoking has a profound impact on the body. While it’s not easy to quit smoking, doing so can greatly improve your overall health now and long into the future. Quitting smoking is the key to living a happier, longer life.


Whenever there’s a car accident, most of the people involved tend to focus on the victim’s physical injuries. But after the initial shock calms, it’s easy to miss the mental and emotional effects caused by such trauma.

The fact is that while physical injuries can be identified quickly, the problem doesn’t always stop there. Psychological trauma may take days or months to manifest, but when they do, they can have even more long-lasting effects than physical injuries.

Here are some tips on how to deal with psychological trauma after an accident.

Mental Health Wellness Psychology Mind

Tip #1: Get Professional Help

In many cases, when accidents happen, it can take some time for the pain to subside and to feel whole again. Sometimes it’s easy to pretend that things are okay—even when you know you’re hurting. But it’s important to know that repressing your feelings will only make the situation worse. That is why anybody who’s been in a traumatic experience like a car accident should consult a professional therapist to help walk you through the journey of recovery.

When you do find a therapist you want to work with, you should focus on developing a good relationship with them to enhance trust and comfort. From there, your specialist will help you work towards your trauma in a calm and comfortable setting.

Tip #2: Account for Pain & Suffering in Your Insurance Settlement

Although it’s not an easy thing to deal with, emotional trauma after an accident is very common. It’s essential to note that when you suffer an after accident trauma, you have a right to account for your pain and suffering in your insurance settlement. However, you need to present your facts right to recover damages for your trauma case.

That is why you need to contact a professional and experienced personal injury attorney to represent you. It’s also essential to note that some lawyers offer legal representation in a wide range of fields, while others like Schwartzapfel Lawyers specialize in motor vehicle accidents.

Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid to Talk about Your Mental Challenges with Friends and Family

After experiencing something overwhelming like an accident, you may want to isolate or withdraw from other people. However, pulling away won’t help you in the long run. It’s important that you don’t be afraid to connect and talk about your mental challenges to your family members or friends. Make an effort to open up and maintain a good relationship with those close to you, and refrain from staying alone.

Remember that when connecting with friends or family, it doesn’t mean that you must talk about your mental situation, especially if you don’t feel like it. If you do want to, make sure you surround yourself with caring friends that can help you feel better.

Tip #4: Do Everything You Can to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

It’s important that you maintain both your physical and mental health to help cope with an injury. One of the ways to improve your body health is by engaging in physical exercises. Exercising has been proven to keep your body active and facilitate a good flow of blood to all parts of your body, which can positively affect your mental health.

It would be best if you also ate well-balanced meals to give your body the energy it needs to function normally. A balanced diet can also help regulate mood swings. Additionally, it is crucial to keep a healthy social life to help reduce stress and curb anxiety.

Tip #5: Learn Meditation

For those who suffer from trauma, it’s not uncommon to become depressed and anxious. That’s why it’s important to learn how to relax and calm your mind. Meditation can help you to achieve the best of your body’s health. If you’ve not tried meditation before, then you can enroll in in-person or online classes so you learn different techniques to help relax your mind, soul, and body.

Tip #6: Try Yoga for a Mentally Stimulating Exercise

Yoga is another excellent way to help relax your mind and lessen trauma effects. Yoga has been a favorite choice for many people. Doing regular yoga has many benefits, such as:

  • Decreasing insomnia
  • Reducing high blood pressure
  • Increasing muscle strength
  • Improving respiration and energy

Aiding your physical health is one of the best ways to obtain a happier mindset. But aside from its physical benefits, yoga can also help manage stress and develop coping skills to reach a more positive and satisfying outlook on life.

Tip #7: Develop Healthy Stress-Relief Habits

To better manage your stress levels, you can try multiple stress-relieving techniques such as daily walks and breathing exercises. Regular walks can help make your body active and strong through regular blood circulation.

Breathing exercises, on the other hand, can help relax and calm both your body and mind to help reduce stress and anxiety. It’s best to set a schedule for these things so that you can begin to form a habit with your body’s inner clock.


The emotional trauma after a car accident can leave you feeling devastated. And even when broken bones heal, there’s still the emotional aftermath of the entire experience. Luckily, there are many things you can practice to help better the situation. In addition to proper documentation for your recover damages for your emotional trauma, follow the above tips to help simplify your recovery process.


Losing weight is a process that can be challenging, especially because you don’t get the results overnight. You have to do it in a healthy way and consistently if you want results that will last. If you are trying to lose some weight, consider the following factors.

A Good Diet Plan

What you eat is one of the biggest contributors to your weight. Thus, start by evaluating your diet. What do you eat on a typical day? What about snacks and snacking habits? Are the foods you eat healthy? What changes can you make to your daily diet? Write down the changes you need to make. Write down menus for your breakfast, lunches and dinners. If you aren’t sure what a healthy meal looks like, you can follow the Harvard’s healthy eating plate, which recommends fruits and vegetables for half of the plate, whole grains and protein taking up a quarter of the plate each, healthy plant oils in moderation and water, tea or coffee. For your snacks, try to cut your intake of refined sugars, carbs and deep-fried foods. Finally, don’t forget to check the recommended calorie intake for your age and body weight.

An Exercise Plan

Exercise is another factor in healthy weight loss. Through exercise you can boost your metabolism for weight loss. However, you should not overdo your workouts. Too much could leave your joints and muscles damaged. You need rest days to recover and also your daily workouts should be limited to an hour at most. Your workout plan should include the type of exercises you will be doing each day and the duration for each workout.


What happens when you don’t get enough sleep? For one, your cravings can intensify. This means that you will eat more the following day and this will hamper your weight loss goals. Two, if you stay up longer at night, your chances of snacking increase, and this can lead to weight gain. Three, the following day, you may wake up feeling less energetic and less motivated to do things. You may not be in a mood to go to the gym or fix a healthy meal. Remember, a healthy meal and exercise are two factors that contribute to weight loss.

So, don’t give up your sleep for anything. If there is anything keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, deal with it right away. Seek help if you are stressed out, and plan your day well so that you are not working when you should be resting. Get a new mattress if the one you have is causing you discomfort or pain at night. You can view some nice options here. Do whatever it takes to get that uninterrupted sleep. It’s good for weight loss and it can also boost your productivity, reduce your risk of accidents, and keep you more focused. 


Water is good for your metabolism and it can create that feeling of fullness, thus reducing the amount of food you eat each day. And the good thing about water is that it has zero calories. However, stick to the recommended amount of water and don’t overdo it to avoid hyponatremia.

These are some of the key factors in healthy weight loss. You can plan your weight loss journey by yourself, or you can work with professionals. A nutritionist, for instance, can help in planning healthy menus for weight loss. A fitness trainer can help with your daily workouts. However, regardless of whether you work with a professional or by yourself, remember that the results will depend on your commitment.

Image source: Pixabay

Improving a private practice or medical business has very different struggles compared to growing a traditional business. Can a tool like healthcare marketing help you out with this monumental task of transforming your favourite services? Let’s take a look at how they can help you out.


First and foremost, healthcare is an area of expertise. Whether you are looking into a qualification into healthcare marketing yourself or you are hiring someone who can help you with your business, the insight and knowledge that can be gained from a qualification like this cannot be missed.

An expert in healthcare marketing will be able to recommend what is needed for the business overall. Their recommendations will be smart and filled with insight, as you might expect from someone of their expertise in any area. By taking the time to listen to an expert like this, they will be able to come up with a credible plan that you can implement to transform your business.


Healthcare marketing is also incredibly important as it can be used to analyse how your practice is currently performing. If you feel like you are doing everything right, but you aren’t making progress, healthcare marketing can offer you the tools you need to properly analyse what is happening in the business.

Marketing techniques in this sector need to be done exactly right as they will directly impact people’s lives in a way that other campaigns will not. This, in turn, links back to the need for expertise. Not just any marketing executive could jump into a healthcare marketing role. This is a role for someone with an understanding of the industry, what its needs are, and what the best path forward is to garner the most success.


An industry like healthcare is still subject to trends and changes, though they might not be as obvious as in other sectors. For example, right now a patient-centric approach is thought to be the best path to operate on. By tapping into these changing trends using healthcare marketing, you will be able to transform the reputation of your practice.

This can be fantastic if you are inheriting an established practice and you want to put your own stamp on the place. Bringing it up to modern standards and changing some of the practices here could bring up the satisfaction of your existing customers and attract even more to you.

Find the Right Healthcare Marketing for You Today

It can be difficult to pinpoint precisely which paths could be right for you and your business. This is why healthcare marketing is so crucial. It takes an overview of business, analyses what you are doing right, and puts together some achievable targets to help you improve the business in easy stages.

Take the time to find the right professional to help you out, or even look into courses so you can gain some expertise in this area yourself. Before long, your business could be running in a far more efficient and profitable manner, thanks to healthcare marketing.


Johnson & Johnson has decided to stop selling its talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in the US and Canada.

The healthcare giant faces many thousands of lawsuits from consumers who claim that its talc products caused their cancer.

The company’s decision comes after years of litigation where it has been ordered to pay out billions of dollars in compensation.

J&J has consistently defended the safety of its talc products.

The company said it would wind down sales of the product, which makes up about 0.5% of its US consumer health business, in the coming months, but that retailers would continue to sell existing inventory.

It faces more than 16,000 consumer lawsuits alleging that the company’s talc products were contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen.

Image source Flickr

With Johnson & Johnson in the limelight, what are the hidden dangers of talcum powder?

Talcum Powder Case: Johnson and Johnson Ordered to Pay $110 Million to Lois Slemp

J&J Talc-Powder Case: Gloria Ristesund to Receive $55 Million in Compensation

Johnson & Johnson said that demand for Johnson’s Baby Powder had been declining in North America “due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fuelled by misinformation around the safety of the product”.

It said it had faced “a constant barrage” of lawyers advertising for clients to sue the company.

“We remain steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder. Decades of independent scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of our product,” it said.

J&J added that the move was part of a reassessment of its consumer products prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in October that its testing had found no asbestos in its Baby Powder after tests conducted by the FDA discovered trace amounts.

Johnson & Johnson is appealing against a 2018 order to pay $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women who alleged that its talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.


A lot of us are working from home amid the worldwide pandemic currently happening. This is nothing new to some. Maybe you have a nice, comfortable office space complete with a supporting chair. However, to others, this is anything but normal, and maybe your office is a kid’s art table and chair.

Whatever your situation is, a lot of us are finding ourselves sitting and working more often than not. This can mean experiencing more and new aches and pains that weren’t noticed while working in the office. This is because most offices furnish their desks with ergonomic furniture and most employees get up and walk around the office for various reasons throughout the day. There is no water cooler at home.


These weeks have turned to months for working at home, and they have strained our bodies not only mentally, but physically. These new aches and pains may lead us down a road to debilitating muscle injuries such as bad backs, sore necks, and achy shoulders.

To avoid going down this path, make sure you are spending as much time as you are able working in a neutral position where no body part is awkwardly bent or twisted. Also, try to move around every 30 minutes. You want to walk around and get yourself a cup of coffee or water. If you can, try to stretch. There are a plethora of apps and online sites that will help you figure out what back exercises to do to stay limber. There are even health sites that will help with lumbar disc bulge exercises.

If you work at a computer, try to view your screen with a straight neck. This means putting your screen at a comfortable viewing height. We tend to look down at laptop screens, so you may want to evaluate your computer to combat this habit.

After you have found the best height for your screen, make sure it is sideways to a bright window. This will minimize eye strain from a glare and you don’t want your back to your screen because the incoming light will cause a glare on it. Also, you won’t be straining your neck and back to look away from a screen if it is too bright. If you have blue light glasses, make sure you wear those as well.

Also, don’t read from an iPad or papers that are flat on your desk or table to where you are constantly moving your head up and down. If you go back from a screen to reading material, use a vertical document holder or iPad stand to relieve this strain.

Since your computer is at a comfortable height in front of you, so should your keyboard. Your keyboard and mouse should be used with your forearms and hands level and straight. Also, your arm should be close to the side of your body when you use a mouse. You have nerves that leave your neck and run down your shoulder, elbow and wrist, so when your arm is at your side, the nerves aren’t compromised. The more you have to stretch, the greater chance there will be to strain your back, neck, or shoulder.

Other small tips are to make sure you sit back in your chair and limit the time you spend working in bed. Also try to limit the time you spend standing. Just following some of these tips at your home work environment can help you lessen your chance of injury.


The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has passed 4 million milestone, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University.

The global death toll has also risen to above 277,000.

The US remains the worst-hit country in the world, accounting for over a quarter of confirmed cases and a third of deaths.

Experts warn the true number of infections is likely to be far higher, with low testing rates in many countries skewing the data.

Daily death tolls are continuing to drop in some nations, including Spain, but there is concern that easing lockdown restrictions could lead to a “second wave” of infections.

In addition, governments are bracing for economic fallout as the pandemic hits global markets and supply chains.

A senior Chinese official has told local media that the pandemic was a “big test” that had exposed weaknesses in the country’s public health system. The rare admission, from the director of China’s National Health Commission, Li Bin, comes after sustained criticism abroad of China’s early response.

Coronavirus: Global Cases Pass 1 Million

This week, some lockdown measures have begun easing in Italy, once the global epicenter of the pandemic. Italians have been able to exercise outdoors and visit family members in their region.

France has recorded its lowest daily number of coronavirus deaths for more than a month, with 80 deaths over the past 24 hours. Authorities are preparing to ease restrictions from May 11, as is the government in neighboring Spain.

Meanwhile, lockdowns are continuing in countries like South Africa, despite calls from opposition parties for it to end.

In South Korea, renewed restrictions are being imposed on bars and clubs after a series of transmissions linked to Seoul’s leisure district.

Russia also canceled a military parade in Moscow, planned as part of the country’s Victory Day celebrations. Instead, President Vladimir Putin hosted a subdued event on May 9, laying roses at the Eternal Flame war memorial.

However, despite scientific evidence, leaders of several countries have continued to express skepticism about the virus and the need for lockdowns.

In Belarus, thousands of soldiers marched to celebrate Victory Day, as President Alexander Lukashenko rejected calls for tougher measures.

British medical journal The Lancet has written a scathing editorial about Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, calling him the biggest threat to his country’s ability to contain the spread of coronavirus. Brazil is currently reporting the highest number of cases in Latin America – over 10,000 more on May 9, bringing the national total to nearly 156,000. But despite the outbreak, President Bolsonaro continues to dismiss the virus’ severity and has clashed with governors over lockdown measures.

The FDA has authorized emergency use of the Ebola drug remdesivir for treating the coronavirus.

The authorization means the anti-viral drug can now be used on people who are hospitalized with severe Covid-19.

A recent clinical trial showed remdesivir helped shorten the recovery time for people who were seriously ill.

However, the drug did not significantly improve survival rates.

Experts have warned remdesivir – which was originally developed to treat Ebola, and is produced by Gilead pharmaceutical company in California – should not be seen as a “magic bullet” for coronavirus.

Remdesivir interferes with the virus’s genome, disrupting its ability to replicate.

During a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Gilead Chief Executive Daniel O’Day said the FDA authorization was an important first step.

Gilead would donate 1.5 million vials of the drug, he said.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn also said at the meeting: “It’s the first authorized therapy for Covid-19, so we’re really proud to be part of it.”

Emergency FDA authorization is not the same as formal approval, which requires a higher level of review.

Remdesivir did not cure Ebola, and the producing company says on its website: “Remdesivir is an experimental medicine that does not have established safety or efficacy for the treatment of any condition.”

Gilead also warns of possible serious side-effects.

However, President Trump has been a vocal supporter of remdesivir as a potential treatment for the coronavirus.

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In its clinical trial, whose full results are yet to be released, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) found that remdesivir cut the duration of symptoms from 15 days down to 11.

The trials involved 1,063 people at hospitals around the world – including the US, France, Italy, the UK, China and South Korea. Some patients were given the drug and others were given a placebo (dummy) treatment.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who runs NIAID, said that remdesivir had “a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery”.

However, although remdesivir may aid recovery – and possibly stop people having to be treated in intensive care – the trials did not give any clear indication whether it can prevent deaths from coronavirus.

As much remains uncertain about the treatment regime, Gilead suggests a 10-day dosing duration for patients on ventilators and five days for patients who are not.

The FDA’s jurisdiction does not stretch overseas so the authorization only applies to US. Experts also stressed that the emergency use is not the same as full approval.


Do you know how healthy you are, really? Sure, you might know how you feel right now: energetic, tired, bored, sick, etc. But do you know if you’re living a healthy life? And do you know how susceptible you might be to certain infections or conditions?

The harsh reality is that how healthy you feel doesn’t always reflect how healthy you are. Indeed, it’s possible for seemingly healthy individuals to come down with surprisingly serious medical issues. With all that in mind, today we’ll help you examine your own health in a more objective manner:

Lifestyle Choices

Obviously, people do have a certain level of control over their own physical fitness. As such, decisions like diet composition and how often you exercise can have a big impact on your overall health. The problem, of course, is that judging a lifestyle is very difficult. Relatively few people follow their diets to a strict level –– and not everyone works out as often as they should. On the other hand, people with “bad habits” might still be relatively healthy for other reasons. Nevertheless, actions like eating fast food, smoking, drinking, and remaining sedentary for long periods of time are universally detrimental to health and wellness.


The bad news here is that no matter how hard you try, you could be at risk for certain medical conditions simply because members of your family had them. Make no mistake, genetics plays a huge part in determining a person’s long-term health. So, for instance, if your mother and father each had high cholesterol, there’s a good chance you could have high cholesterol too –– regardless of how well you diet and exercise. 

Community Health

Believe it or not, the health and wellness of those around you can have an impact on your own fitness and morale. An obvious example would be someone who is married to a smoker –– since second-hand smoke can be just as damaging as inhaling smoking yourself. On a broader level, though, surrounding yourself with individuals who take their health seriously can improve your own self-discipline.

Ask for Help

It can be very tempting to look for easy solutions to health-and-wellness problems. Yet, quick-fixes rarely provide long-term benefits. (Consider bunion correctors as a real-life example of this axiom in action.) Individuals shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. At the end of the day, it’s imperative for everyone –– healthy, unhealthy, young, old (etc.) –– to consult with a medical professional on a regular basis. Doing so is the best way to take care of yourself and get a clear picture of your overall well-being.


Vice-President Mike Pence has appeared without wearing a face mask while visiting the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota despite the medical centre’s own rules that visitors wear personal protective equipment.

In a deleted tweet, the Mayo Clinic said Mike Pence had been notified in advance of its policy requiring masks.

The vice-president leads the White House coronavirus taskforce.

Image source Twitter

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The government’s own coronavirus-prevention advice is that people should wear face coverings “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain”.

The Mayo Clinic itself requires all patients and visitors to its medical centers to wear a mask or face covering.

VP Pence’s visit came on the same day that the US coronavirus caseload topped one million and the number of deaths surpassed 57,000.

President Donald Trump has himself previously said he has no plans to wear a mask.

The vice-president defended his decision to flout hospitals rules as necessary in order to meet with staff and patients.

He said: “As vice-president of the United States, I’m tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus.

“And when the CDC issued guidelines about wearing a mask, it was their recognition that people that may have the coronavirus could prevent the possibility of conveying the virus to someone else by wearing a mask.

“And since I don’t have the coronavirus, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible healthcare personnel, and look them in the eye and say thank you.”

According to news website Axios, Mike Pence has never once worn a mask while in public since the pandemic began while continuing to travel throughout the country.

A Mike Pence aide was the first White House member to test positive for the virus in late March.

Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus originated last year, has raised its official Covid-19 death toll by 50%, adding 1,290 fatalities.

The city’s officials attributed the new figure to updated reporting and deaths outside hospitals. China has insisted there was no cover-up.

China has been accused of downplaying the severity of its virus outbreak.

Wuhan’s 11 million residents spent months in strict lockdown conditions, which have only recently been eased.

The latest official figures bring the death toll in Wuhan to 3,869, increasing the national total to more than 4,600.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, China has confirmed nearly 84,000 Covid-19 infections, the seventh-highest globally.

The new coronavirus has had a huge impact on China’s economy, which shrank for the first time in decades in the first quarter of the year.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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In a statement released on April 17, officials in Wuhan said the revised figures were the result of new data received from multiple sources, including records kept by funeral homes and prisons.

Deaths linked to the virus outside hospitals, such as people who died at home, had not previously been recorded.

According to the statement, the “statistical verification” followed efforts by authorities to “ensure that information on the city’s Covid-19 epidemic is open, transparent and the data [is] accurate”.

The statement added that health systems were initially overwhelmed and cases were “mistakenly reported” – in some instances counted more than once and in others missed entirely.

A shortage of testing capacity in the early stages meant that many infected patients were not accounted for, it said.

A spokesman for China’s National Health Commission, Mi Feng, said the new death count came from a “comprehensive review” of epidemic data.

In its daily news conference, the foreign ministry said accusations of a cover-up, which have been made most stridently on the world stage by President Donald Trump, were unsubstantiated. “We’ll never allow any concealment,” a spokesman said.

The April 17 revised figures come amid growing international concern that deaths in China have been under-reported. Questions have also been raised about Beijing’s handling of the epidemic, particularly in its early stages.

In December 2019, Chinese authorities launched an investigation into a mysterious viral pneumonia after cases began circulating in Wuhan.

The country reported the cases to the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN’s global health agency, on December 31.

However, WHO experts were only allowed to visit China and investigate the outbreak on February 10, by which time the country had more than 40,000 cases.

The mayor of Wuhan city has previously admitted there was a lack of action between the start of January – when about 100 cases had been confirmed – and January 23, when city-wide restrictions were enacted.

Around that time, Dr. Li Wenliang, who tried to warn his colleagues about an outbreak of a SARS-like virus, was silenced by the authorities. He later died from Covid-19.


WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged unity, as the UN’s health agency comes under continued fire from President Donald Trump.

Speaking on April 8, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus defended the WHO’s work and called for an end to the politicization of Covid-19.

The Ethiopian also said that he had received deaths threats and has been subjected to racist abuse.

President Trump said he would consider ending US funding for the World Health Organization.

The US president  accused the WHO of being “very China-centric” and said they “really blew” their pandemic response.

Dr. Tedros has now dismissed the comments, insisting: “We are close to every nation, we are color-blind.”

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

After first attacking the WHO the previous day, President Trump renewed his criticism at his news briefing on April 8, saying the health agency must “get its priorities right”. He said the US would conduct a study to decide whether it would continue paying contributions,

Also answering questions at the briefing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration was “re-evaluating our funding” of the WHO, adding: “Organizations have to work. They have to deliver the outcomes for which they were intended.”

The new coronavirus first emerged last December in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has just ended an 11-week lockdown. An advisor to the WHO chief earlier said their close work with China had been “absolutely essential” in understanding the disease in its early stages.

President  Trump’s attacks on the WHO come in the context of criticism of his own administration’s handling of the pandemic, especially early problems with testing.

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The WHO approved a coronavirus test in January – but the US decided against using it, developing its own test instead. However, in February, when the testing kits were dispatched, some of them didn’t work properly and led to inconclusive results.

Public health experts say the delay enabled the virus to spread further within the US.

Dr. Tedros said: “Please, unity at national level, no using Covid or political points.

“Second, honest solidarity at the global level. And honest leadership from the US and China. “

“The most powerful should lead the way and please quarantine Covid politics,” he appealed, in comments seen as a response to President Trump, who said on Tuesday the WHO appeared to be “very biased toward China”.

President Trump said: “They called it wrong. They really – they missed the call.

“And we’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it, and we’re going to see.”

The US is one of the WHO’s largest voluntary funders, with WHO data suggesting they contribute 15% to its overall budget.

The WHO chief said that he had been at the receiving end of racist comments for the past two to three months.

He said: “Giving me names, black or negro.

“I’m proud of being black, or proud of being negro.”

Dr. Tedros then said he had got death threats, adding – “I don’t give a damn.”

Referring to the abuse, the WHO chief said it had originated from Taiwan, “and the foreign ministry didn’t disassociate” itself from it.

However, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen dismissed this, saying her country is against discrimination.

“For years, we have been excluded from international organizations, and we know better than anyone else what it feels like to be discriminated against and isolated,” Reuters quoted her as saying.

Taiwan, which is excluded from the WHO because of China’s objections to its membership, has said it has been unable to access important information during the coronavirus outbreak. The WHO denies this.

On April 8, Dr. Tedros played down the financial threat, saying he believed that US funding would continue.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres had earlier added his voice to the defense of the organization. He described the outbreak as “unprecedented” and said any assessment of how it was handled should be an issue for the future.

He said: “Now is the time for unity, for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences.”

French President Emmanuel Macron also reportedly offered his support to the WHO in a call to Dr. Tedros on April 8.

“He reaffirmed his trust, his support for the institution and refuses to see it locked into a war between China and the USA,” a French presidency official told Reuters.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

South Korea has reported the lowest number of new coronavirus cases since infection rates peaked one month ago, fuelling hope Asia’s worst outbreak outside China may be abating.

Sixty four new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 8,961 with 111 deaths.

However, health officials warn against complacency, saying South Korea still faces a long war against the infection.

Europe is currently at the center of the pandemic.

On March 22, Italy reported 651 new deaths, bringing the total there to 5,476, while Spain added another 462 deaths in the past 24 hours for a total of 2,182.

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The expectation that the battle against the virus will be a long one was reinforced by news from Japan that its prime minister has admitted for the first time that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could be postponed.

Nearly 20,000 people are tested every day for coronavirus in South Korea, more people per capita than anywhere else in the world.

South Korea has created a network of public and private laboratories and provides dozens of drive-through centers where people with symptoms can check their health status.

The country developed its approach after an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2015, when 36 people died in South Korea, which had the second-largest number of MERS cases after Saudi Arabia.

MERS forced South Korea to reassess its approach to infectious diseases and its Centers for Disease Control set up a special department to prepare for the worst, a move which appears to have paid off.

Laws on managing and publicly sharing information on patients with infectious diseases changed significantly after MERS and could be seen in action this year when the government used phone alerts to tell people if they were in the vicinity of a patient.

This weekend, the South Korean government stepped up preventative action by sending out emergency alerts urging people to stay away from places which encourage mass gatherings such as churches, karaoke rooms, nightclubs and gyms.

The government also asked religious leaders to check the temperature of followers and keep them at least 6ft apart during any services they deemed necessary.

A number of churches in South Korea are now facing legal action after violating the guidelines.

South Korea has seen two waves of infections, Yonhap news agency reports, the first beginning on January 20 with the first confirmed case, and the second with mass infections among a religious group.

Now there are fears that imported cases could fuel a third wave.

The government plans to install around 20 phone booth-style test facilities inside Incheon Airport to speed up the process of testing all arrivals from Europe.

The new entry procedures started on March 22. So far, 152 people have arrived in South Korea showing symptoms of the virus and they are awaiting their test results.


According to Johns Hopkins University, the global coronavirus death toll has now exceeded 10,000.

There are 10,033 deaths from Covid-19 worldwide as of March 19.

Johns Hopkins University – which has been compiling its data soon after the outbreak began late last year – says the number of confirmed cases is fast approaching 250,000.

For the second day in a row, China has reported no new domestic cases.

Meanwhile, Italy has overtaken China’s death toll with 3,405 victims.

Argentina has imposed a nationwide lockdown, the first Latin American country to do so.

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California is, nonetheless, one of the main centers of the coronavirus in the US, and the state’s Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an order covering virtually the entire population of 40 million people.

Speaking from the state’s emergency operations centre in Sacramento – a place that is normally used to coordinate the response to wildfires or earthquakes – Governor Newsom called on people here to only leave their homes if it was absolutely necessary, to get food, collect medicines, or care for a friend or relative.

Citing a model that state planners here have been using, the governor predicted that more than half of California’s population will contract the virus over the course of the next eight weeks – a staggering total of around 25 million people.

Governor Newsom said that cases of the virus were doubling every four hours in some areas, and – based on projections – nearly 20,000 more hospital beds would be needed to deal with the effects of the outbreak than the state could currently provide.

He is asking Congress for a billion dollars in federal funding to support California’s response to the crisis, and calling for a navy hospital ship to be deployed to the Port of Los Angeles to help deal with the anticipated surge in patients.

Image by Vektor Kunst from Pixabay

Governments from around the world have asked people to stay at home to help preventing and slowing down the spread of coronavirus.

Self-isolating means cutting yourself off from the rest of the world.

From now on, if one person in a household starts to display flu-like symptoms – defined as a fever of above 100F (37.8C) or a persistent cough – everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days.

The person with the symptoms should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened, and keep away from other people in the home.

They should ask for help for groceries, other shopping or medication, which can be dropped off on the doorstep by friends, family or delivery drivers.

The Covid-19 disease can cause a fever, cough and breathing problems. It takes five days on average for people to start showing the symptoms.

What if someone self-isolating shares a home?

If someone is self-isolating and shares a kitchen, they should try to avoid using it when other people are there and take meals back to their room to eat. Clean all the surfaces at home with household cleaning products daily.

Although they might not be able to entirely separate themselves from family members or flat-mates, the advice is to limit contact as much as possible.

If possible, stay at least 6ft from other people they live with and sleep alone. Keep away from vulnerable people.

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People living with someone in isolation should wash their hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds – especially after coming into contact with them.

Other people shouldn’t share towels, toiletries or other household items with someone in isolation, who should have a separate bathroom. If that is not possible, the isolated person should use the bathroom last, cleaning it thoroughly afterwards if they are able.

Any rubbish that the isolated person has been in contact with should be double-bagged and kept.

Image by Vektor Kunst from Pixabay

Authorities in most of the coronavirus affected countries have asked people to stop non-essential contact with others and avoid all unnecessary travel. This is known as social distancing.

Social distancing means trying to avoid contact with other people.

It means spending less time in public places, where a lot of people are around.

Usually, governments want:

  • People to start working from home wherever possible
  • All unnecessary travel stopped
  • Restaurants, pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues to be avoided
  • Stay at least 6ft from other people
  • Keep away from vulnerable people
  • Anyone living with someone who has a cough or a temperature to stay at home for 14 days.

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Under the US coronavirus task force’s new guidelines, President Donald Trump has urged:

  • All older Americans to stay home
  • Work and schooling should be at home
  • Discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits should be avoided
  • Anyone in a household who tests positive for the new coronavirus should stay at home along with everyone who lives there.

According to recent reports, the first human trial of a vaccine to protect against pandemic coronavirus is starting in the US on March 16.

Forty five healthy volunteers will have the jab, at the Kaiser Permanente research facility, in Seattle.

According to experts, the vaccine cannot cause Covid-19 but contains a harmless genetic code copied from the virus that causes the disease.

It will still take many months to know if this vaccine, or others also in research, will work, experts say.

Scientists around the world are fast-tracking research.

This first human trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health, sidesteps a check that would normally be conducted – making sure the vaccine can trigger an immune response in animals.

However, the biotechnology company behind the work, Moderna Therapeutics, says the vaccine has been made using a tried and tested process.

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Typical vaccines for viruses, such as measles, are made from a weakened or killed virus.

In this case, the mRNA-1273 vaccine is not made from the virus that causes Covid-19.

Instead, the vaccine includes a short segment of genetic code copied from the virus that scientists have been able to make in a laboratory.

This will hopefully prime the body’s own immune system to fight off the real infection.

The volunteers will be given different doses of the experimental vaccine.

They will each be given two jabs in total, 28 days apart, into the upper arm muscle.

Even if these initial safety tests go well, it could still take up to 18 months for any potential vaccine to become available for the public.

Image source France24

France has ordered the closure of all non-essential places used by the public from March 14 midnight as the coronavirus outbreak spreads.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the number of people in intensive care was growing and earlier guidelines for the public were being ignored.

The measure applies to restaurants, cafes, cinemas and nightclubs as well as non-essential businesses.

It would not, the prime minister said, affect essential businesses which he listed as food shops, chemists, banks, tobacco shops and petrol stations.

Edouard Philippe also asked people to reduce their travel, especially between towns.

“The best way to slow down the epidemic is social distancing,” he said.

“I say this gravely – we must all together show greater discipline in the application of these measures,” the prime minister added.

However, local elections due on March 15 would also still go ahead, he said. Religious buildings would remain open but gatherings and ceremonies should be postponed.

France reported a sharp rise in cases on March 14, from 3,661 to 4,499. It recorded 12 more deaths, bringing the toll to 79.

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Meanwhile, Spain has confirmed a 15-day lockdown as part of emergency measures.

There will also be a reduction in medium-distance rail traffic to stem the spread of people around the country, and economic measures to support businesses and workers.

After a lengthy meeting of the country’s government cabinet, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez said a partial lockdown would be in place across the country, with the armed forces on standby to assist with relief efforts.

All stores will be forced to close, except for those selling food and other basic necessities.

Pedro Sánchez said the state of emergency could be extended with congressional approval.

Authorities recorded 1,800 more cases since March 13 – many in the capital Madrid.

This will be the second state of emergency in the country since the transition to democracy began in 1975, the first being a 2010 air traffic controllers’ strike.

With 191 deaths and 6,046 infections, Spain is the worst-hit European country after Italy.

Rome declared a nationwide lockdown on March 16. More than 1,440 people have died in Italy.

Meanwhile, the US is extending its European coronavirus travel ban to include the UK and Republic of Ireland. The ban will begin at midnight EST on March 16, VP Mike Pence announced.

On March 13, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Europe was now the “epicenter” of the pandemic.

The WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urged countries to use aggressive measures, community mobilization and social distancing to save lives.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic.

WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold over the past two weeks.

A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.

However, the WHO chief said that calling the outbreak a pandemic did not mean it was changing its advice about what countries should do.

Dr. Tedros called on governments to change the course of the outbreak by taking “urgent and aggressive action”.

He said: “Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled.

“The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will.”

Governments had to “strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimizing disruption and respecting human rights”.

He added: “We’re in this together to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It’s doable.”

Earlier, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that up to 70% of the country’s population – some 58 million people – could contract the coronavirus.

Angela Merkel said since there was no known cure, the focus would fall on slowing the spread of the virus.

Some German virologists dispute the high figure. Former federal government adviser on disease control, Prof. Alexander Kekulé, told German media he saw a worst case scenario of 40,000 cases.

The number of confirmed cases in Germany has risen to 1,567 from 1,296, the Koch institute for infectious diseases said.

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In Italy, where there are 12,447 confirmed cases, PM Giuseppe Conte has announced the closure of schools, gyms, museums, nightclubs and other venues across the country.

On March 11, Italian health officials said the death toll there had risen to 827 from 631. Nearly 900 people with the virus in Italy were in intensive care, the WHO’s emergencies head Michael Ryan said.

Dr. Ryan said the situation in Iran – where there were 354 deaths among 9,000 cases – was “very serious”. The WHO had sent 40,000 testing kits to Iran but there was still a shortage of ventilators and oxygen.

He said: “Iran and Italy are suffering now but I guarantee you other countries will be in that situation very soon.”

France said there had been 48 deaths in the country, an increase of 15 from March 10. There are 2,281 confirmed cases. Coronavirus-linked restrictions have been extended to two more areas, France’s health minister said.

In the western US, Washington state is banning some large gatherings in certain areas and has told all school districts to prepare for possible closures in the coming days. The governor of Seattle’s King County said he expected a serious coronavirus outbreak within weeks.

In the eastern US, New York’s governor announced that troops would be sent into New Rochelle, in an attempt to contain an outbreak of the virus, as the total number of US cases passed 1,000 on March 11.

A one-mile containment zone was in force around the town north of Manhattan. Some individuals have been quarantined.

A number of countries have imposed sweeping travel restrictions. India has suspended most visas for foreigners until April 15. Guatemala is banning European citizens from entering from March 12.

Music festivals and other major events in the US, including Coachella festival in California, have been canceled or postponed. The E3 gaming show set for Los Angeles in June is among those canceled.

Thousands of flights have been canceled worldwide as airlines struggle to cope with a slump in demand.

UK health minister Nadine Dorries announced she had tested positive for coronavirus and was self-isolating at home.

Several countries – including Sweden and Bulgaria, as well as the Republic of Ireland – have recorded their first deaths, while the number of confirmed cases in Qatar jumped from 24 to 262.

China – where the virus was first detected – has seen a total of 80,754 confirmed cases and 3,136 deaths. However, China recorded its lowest number of new infections, just 19, on March 10.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

UK’s health minister Nadine Dorries has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

She showed symptoms on the day she attended an event with PM Boris Johnson.

Nadine Dorries, 62, said she has been self-isolating at home.

The Department of Health said the minister first showed symptoms on March 5 – the same day she attended an event hosted by the prime minister.

Six people with the virus have died in the UK, which has a total of 382 cases.

The latest person to die was a man in his early 80s who had underlying health conditions.

The Bank of England earlier announced an emergency cut in interest rates from 0.75% to 0.25% in response to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak

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It is not known how many meetings Nadine Dorries had attended at Westminster or in her constituency in recent days, but she was at an event at Downing Street on March 5 to mark International Women’s Day.

She also held a surgery in her constituency on March 6 which was attended by up to 12 people, according to Steven Dixon, chair of the Mid Bedfordshire Conservative Association.

Steven Dixon said the details of all those who attended the surgery have been passed to the NHS.

The Flitwick Club, where the surgery took place, is undergoing a deep clean as a precaution.

The Department of Health said ministers – including the prime minister – would not need to undergo testing as Public Health England (PHE) has assessed the risk of Nadine Dorries’ close contacts and only those with symptoms needed to self-isolate.

Nadine Dorries added she was worried about her 84-year-old mother who was staying with her and began to cough on March 10.

The number of total cases for the UK include 324 cases in England, 27 in Scotland, 16 in Northern Ireland and 15 in Wales.

There are 91 in London, with the next highest infected area being the south-east, with 51 cases. The latest person to die, on March 9, was a man in his 80s, with underlying health conditions, who was being treated at Watford General Hospital.

The man caught the virus in the UK and officials are trying to trace who he had been in contact with.

Italy’s coronavirus death toll has soared to 366, with 133 deaths in just one, officials say.

According to the Civil Protection agency, the total number of infections leapt 25% to 7,375 from 5,883.

The jump in figures comes as millions adapt to radical measures introduced on March 8 in an attempt to contain the outbreak.

Under new quarantine rules, up to 16 million people in Lombardy and 14 provinces need special permission to travel.

PM Giuseppe Conte also announced the closure of schools, gyms, museums, nightclubs and other venues across the whole country.

The restrictions will last until April 3.

The latest figures mean Italy now has the highest number of confirmed infections outside China, where the outbreak originated in December. The outbreak has overtaken South Korea, where the total number of cases is 7,313.

Among the latest people to test positive in Italy is the army’s chief of staff. Salvatore Farina said he felt well and was self-isolating.

The strict new quarantine measures affect a quarter of the Italian population and center on the rich northern part of the country that powers its economy.

The health system is under immense strain in Lombardy, a northern region of 10 million people, where people are being treated in hospital corridors.

Prime Minister Conte said as he announced the measures on March 8: “We want to guarantee the health of our citizens. We understand that these measures will impose sacrifices, sometimes small and sometimes very big.”

Under the new measures, people are not supposed to be able to enter or leave Lombardy, where Milan is the main city.

The same restrictions apply to 14 provinces: Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Verbano Cusio Ossola, Vercelli, Padua, Treviso and Venice.

Some transport in and out of the regions affected continued on March 8. Flights still arrived at Milan’s Malpensa and Linate airports, though some scheduled flights were canceled.

Coronavirus: Which Are the Worst-Affected Countries?

Coronavirus: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

However, Italy’s national carrier Alitalia said it would suspend all operations from Malpensa from March 9 and Linate would only serve domestic routes. International flights would continue to and from Rome. The WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised Italy for making “genuine sacrifices” with the restrictions. Until March 8 only about 50,000 people in northern Italy had been affected by quarantines.

Last week the Italian government announced the closure of all schools and universities across the country for 10 days.

The number of infections worldwide is more than 107,000, with about 3,600 deaths.

Most of the fatalities have been in China. However, the country reported on March 8 its lowest number of new infections in a single day since January – an indication that the virus’s spread there is slowing.

Iran, one of the worst hotspots outside China, has now confirmed 6,566 infections and 194 deaths.

However, the real figure is feared to be much higher. One report on March 8, quoting a government envoy, said there had been 200 deaths in the northern Gilan province alone – but the figures were later removed.

Image source: Pexels

Coronavirus has been seen in more than 30 countries. The newly discovered virus can spread from person to person and health officials recommend simple steps to avoid becoming infected.

Coronavirus: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

So, how can you prevent spreading or catching a virus?

Avoid touching your face, your mouth, your nose and your eyes as this is a possible route of the virus to enter and cause infection.

If you cough or sneeze and you don’t put your hand to your mouth and you touch surfaces, the virus can survive for several hours outside the body.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

So it’s important that you wash your hands effectively.

How to wash your hands:

  • take some soap
  • create a lather
  • clean the back of your hands and in between your fingers, the end of your fingers, your thumb (germs are present around nail area and on the back of the hands). Again, your palms. Your wrist and the top of your hand again.
  • rinse the soap off with water
  • turn off the tap with a tissue to prevent cross-contamination
  • discard the tissue into a bin.

Source: CDC, NHS